As the date when an inmate is supposed to be released from a correctional facility approaches, it becomes necessary to prepare the inmate for life outside the correctional system. By this time, the inmate should already have been fully rehabilitated, if the correctional facility in question is one that is truly effective. Several things need to be done, in this process of preparing an inmate for life outside a correctional facility.
Firstly, the inmate needs to be counseled, in order to be able to cope with life outside a correctional facility. All correctional facilities need to have counseling staff to deal with these sorts of situations. But private prisons often struggle with such things because, as we noted in an earlier blog post, one problem associated with private correctional facilities is in the fact that they are too profit-oriented. And hiring good counseling staff is likely to eat into the profits: hence the decision to minimize on labor costs, by desisting from hiring these sorts of specialists.
Secondly, the inmate needs to be given contacts of people who can help him, should he run into problems once he is out of the correctional facility.
Thirdly, an arrangement needs to be made, for the inmate to have an opportunity to earn a livelihood once he gets out of the correctional facility. Unlike an ordinary person, a fellow who has just come out of prison is likely to have difficulties getting a job. And a fellow who has come out of prison is likely to have very little to fall back on, economically. If, for instance, the fellow had a credit card before going to prison, chances are that his attempts to log into the credit card account upon release are likely to be unsuccessful: the account having long fallen dormant. Worse still, if the fellow had an unpaid credit card balance, chances are that the penalties will have grown into an insurmountable level. The skills he had before going to prison may have become obsolete. Clearly, the person needs special assistance, for him to get back on his feet financially.
Fourthly, if possible, a place in a half-way house needs to be secured for the inmate, before he gets out of the correctional facility.